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New Ford Ranger Raptor confirmed… What can we expect?

Ford Australia has announced it will launch the “desert-racing inspired” Ford Ranger Raptor in Australia in 2018. So, what can we expect?

THE FORD RANGER RAPTOR has been spied running around Melbourne for the last few months, and now Ford has announced it really will release the performance-oriented off-roader next year. The Ranger Raptor shares its name with the iconic Ford F-150 Raptor.

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor
This is the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor

“We are very excited to bring Asia Pacific’s toughest and smartest pickup truck to a whole new level,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, product development, Ford Asia Pacific. “Ford Ranger Raptor will offer Ranger fans a fantastic opportunity to own an authentic off-road performance version of their favourite truck for the first time.” 

“Combining the Raptor’s advanced off-road capabilities with the versatility of the Ranger is a significant accomplishment for Ford’s world-class engineering and design teams,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance. 

Ford is keeping details quiet but we suspect the Ranger Raptor will run a beefier engine, more aggressive bodykit, different suspension and exhaust and a bespoke interior. Watch the video of it being tested in the Outback.

In its statement, Ford said, the Raptor is “Designed and engineered to deliver an adrenaline pumping experience, Ford Ranger Raptor sports a head-turning exterior look that exudes toughness as well as a level of capability and off-road performance never before seen in the mid-size pickup truck segment”.

There’s plenty of speculation as to what engine the Ranger Raptor will get but given the popularity of diesel-powered utes in this country, it’s likely the Ranger Raptor will simply run a beefed up version of the 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel running in the Ranger proper. That said, it’s likely a new 10-speed automatic transmission will be bolted onto the back of it; this is the same transmission that serves in the F-150 Raptor.

So, what else can the F-150 Raptor tell us that might hint at the key changes for the Ranger Raptor? Well, the suspension for sure will cop some major tweaks, including Fox Racing Shox to bring it into line with the F-150 Raptor. It could also be that the Ranger Raptor ends up running the same Terrain Management System as the F-150 Raptor which offers a range of additional features to the one used in the Ford Everest, like Normal; Sport; Rain, Snow, Ice; Mud and Sand; and Baja (for high-speed desert driving); and Rock.

In the US, the F-150 Raptor is available in a range of body styles and can be had as both 4×2 and 4×4; here it’s expected that Ford will only offer the Ranger Raptor in one spec, a fully-loaded 4×4.

Ford Ranger Raptor

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober